Saturday, 17 May 2014

Only Connect - Elimination Match 1

Exhibitionists v. Relatives

What, is it that time already? Time for the first sudden death match of the series? Well, yes, it is , or rather it was last Monday. In the first round the Exhibitionists, Keith Andrew, skipper Tim Westcott and Eric Kilby , were a little bit headstrong in the early rounds, and missed some gettable points, going down 22 – 14 to the distinctly useful heath Family outfit. The Relatives, husband and wife Hamish and Davina Galloway together with Davina’s son Nick Latham, lost out in a close contest with the Europhiles. All to play for then, since the losing team faced an earlier exit than they would have been hoping for.

Round One – What’s the Connection?

The Exhibtbionists won the toss and kicked off proceedings with Twisted Flax. If they were looking for bad omens maybe the fact that they picked the music set early doors was one, judging by the team’s expression when Victoria announced that this was what they were going to get. We heard firstly Soul Limbo by Booker T and the MGs – hmm, too many connections to guess. The next was something I didn’t know. The third was Jessie J – so the connection was singers and groups whose name uses at least one initial. The Exes didn’t have it yet. Boney M and The Rivers Of Babylon finished the set off, and even though they knew it, they just couldn’t see the connection. It happens. The Rels swooped in for that unexpected trifle. The second one was by an artist/group called The Adventures of Stevie V, with whose work I am not acquainted. Eye of Horus gave us Chia Chia and Ching Ching. Now, I wouldn’t have gambled on this, but I had a funny feeling that this might well be gifts from China. It was just as well I didn’t gamble, for the next was 100,000 tulip bulbs. Still, gifts from one country to another looked a decent bet, especially when the third was revealed as The Statue of Liberty. This was enough for the Rels to take the points. Two Reeds gave the Exes Paris: Marion Cotillard. I didn’t have it at this point. Barcelona: Penelope Cruz gave me a clue though, knowing that she starred in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. By this stage Keith was onto the connection, but bearing in mind the need to make sure of the points they took the third clue Cairo: Mia Farrow. The connection was these were the names f actresses, and the city mentioned in a Woody Allen film in which they appeared. The Exes had it, although they didn’t bring in the Woody Allen specific connection. Opting for Water, the Rels received The Blues: W.C.Handy. Immediately I warbled “W.C.Handy, won’t you look down over me”This didn’t give me a first class ticket to the answer though. The next The H Bomb: Edward Teller did give me an inkling, though. About the same time as the Rels I figured that we might well be looking at a set of ‘The Father of. . . “Good enough, and the Rels were making a very good start to the contest. The Exes’ last pick for round one was Lion. This revealed the picture set. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t make out what the first picture was supposed to be. The second was a chap playing bowls. The third was a still from the near-perfect sitcom Porridge. Well, bowls and Porridge suggested Goldilocks. Three photos of Bear Grylls pretty much confirmed it. I’m sure the Exes knew as well, but oh, they got their fairy tales mixed up and went for Little Red Riding Hood. An inevitable bonus for the Rels followed. The Exes’ faces were a picture – a picture incidentally which could have been titled “You Know It’s Not Your Night When . . . “. Left with Horned Viper – Victoria doesn’t voice the second vowel, sadly, - they received The Boulder Mobile – hmm, not sure – Apollo 12 Fuel Element – even less sure – Doc Brown’s DeLorean – and here I had it. Hit them to make them work. Arnold’s jukebox gave it to the Rels, to finish off a very effective round for them – they led by 8 to 2.

Round Two – What comes fourth?

Right, well, this is no time for false modesty. When the exes plumped for Eye of Horus, we saw, first of all, Sojourner. In the studio I would have asked for another clue. At home, though, I thought that we were probably dealing with Mars Rovers, the last of which was NASA’s Curiosity. The second and third clues were Spirit and Opposrtunity. The Exes showed enough spirit to take their opportunity, and gave the right answer of Curiosity. The Rels took Twisted Flax, and nobody – neither the teams in the studio nor the one man team on the Clark sofa managed to get it. 1st: A fox – 2nd: An Owl – 3rd: A snake – would be followed by 4th – The Gruffalo. It’s a fair set, I’ve just never read it. My kids were too old when it came out, I think, and little Ollie, my grandson, is too young yet. Two Reeds brought the Exes more pictures. The first showed someone performing gymnastics on the beam. The second showed the State of Maine. Maine, as you may know, has the abbreviation ME. So Beam – me – “Scotty dog – or maybe Elvis’ guitarist Scotty Moore to finish ‘ I predicted. A house with a huge number of balloons about it gave Up, and the Exes went with Scotty dog. Lovely set that – kudos to the setter. The Lion set the Rels received next was a good one. We had Domo. Major ?– I wondered. Then Waldorf. Waldorf? Waldorf hotel? Waldorf Salad? Stadler and Waldorf? The third was Girl In the Ring. Obviously Brown. So although I have not heard of Blair Waldorf, it seemed fairly certain that the last must be Cameron – so Diaz. So it proved, but the Rels couldn’t see it at all. The Exes missed the chance for the bonus, neither team seeing the sequence of Prime Ministers. Water then gave the Exes South Ronaldsay – Sanday – and here I fancied Mainland of Orkney. Hoy was the third. The Exes hit and hoped with Skye, but it fell to the Rels to give the correct answer of Mainland. The horned viper remained, and provided the Rels with $4 – 5% - and at this point I knew the connection, but wouldn’t have had the correct answer unless I had been looking at my keyboard at the time. The symbol above the seven is the &. Neither team had it. Which meant that we had just seen a good round for the Exes, in which they pulled back 3 points to trail 9 – 6.

Round Three – The Connecting Walls

Lion was the wall of choice for the Rels. The first set they isolated were – Glen – Depression – Basin and Gorge – all hollows or valleys . Terms for sadness – Misery – Funk – Sorrow and Blues fell next. That was as far as they got and three strikes were not enough to untangle the last two lines. They could thought that there was a set of words that can be doubled, but they lacked a fourth word. So they failed to isolate Yellow – Talk – Trouble and Paradise, which are actually all Coldplay songs. This left Arcsine – Humidor – Dale and Organ. I was nowhere near this one myself. They are all anagrams of chemical elements. Oh boy – now that’s fiendish. 4 points.

Room then for the Exes to take the lead if they could solve the whole of the Water wall. They could see cricket equipment, but it just wouldn’t resolve, so they switched to activities for which you need a license. Watch Television – sell alcohol – box and drive fit the bill. At last bat- helmet – pads – gloves resolved for the cricket equipment. That was as far as they got before the time ran out. The third line when the wall was resolved was Stump – C – Class – England. Right at the death the word middle occurred to me, and this was the connection. The Exes missed it. The last set I only got because I had the benefit of seeing the anagrams on the Rels’ wall, which the exes didn’t. Bails – Nordic Era – Players and Ages are all anagrams of herbs. Nasty. Still, it meant that if they hadn’t made ground, neither had they lost any. The Rels led going into the last round with 13 to 10.

Round Four – Missing Vowels

In round four, then, we faced the very real possibility that the Exhibitionists would unexpectedly become the first team to fall. The first set was Types of Jazz, and it fell 3 – 1 to the exes. 14 – 13. Slang terms for the wife were a 4 – 0 shutout for the Rels, who now led 18 – 13. Things considered unlucky gave the Rels 3 more unanswered points before Eric pulled one back for the exes. 21 – 14, and, I’m afraid, it was all over bar the shouting. Plays by Willy Russell were not well known by either team, but the Exes managed the only point of the set. That was all we had time for. A final score of 21 – 15 suggested that the match had been rather more one sided than it actually was. Very bad luck, Exhibitionists, but congratulations to the Relatives – good luck next time out.

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